Japanese Mascot with Kombu

Japanese culture is uniquely distinguished from region to region and has different local specialty products to the location. Now, Anime motif mascot that represents the region and localities is gaining huge publicity. It started as a way to promote their local community but it flourished to all over Japan. These mascots are called yuru-chara. Yuru-chara stands for Yurui Character and literally means loose character. You can’t live a day without watching yuru-chara in Japan on TV and many featured product can be found. There is more than 800 yuru-chara mascot exists and each of them features their locals products.

The most famous yuru-chara of all is kuma-mon from Kumamoto prefecture and more than 2,000 items of him printed on package is being sold all over Japan. He won annual yuru-chara grand prix in 2010, making him a pop culture icon.

Of course, there is character that featured kombu seaweed, a indispensable ingredient to Japanese cuisine. His name is “Dashinosuke” from Wakkanai in Hokkaido prefecture. He is harbor seal but he ate too much Rishiri kombu seaweed and his lower body turned into kombu. Wakkanai is one of the few places Rishiri kombu is harvested and treated as local specialty food. Rishiri kombu is known for its bold taste, scent with clear dashi and used for hot pot and in high-end Japanese restaurant.

Once you start to eat kombu seaweed, you might over eat and become like Dashinosuke. We will continue to promote uses and taste of kombu.

Dashinosuke from Wakkanai Sightseeing Association